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HKFP is hosting a private screening of China’s Artful Dissident on Monday, June 10. The film follows Chinese cartoonist Badiucao in the context of the 30th anniversary of the Tiananmen Massacre. The hour-long film, set to debut on ABC Australia on June 4, comes six months after the artist was forced to cancel his first art exhibition in Hong Kong amid threats from the Chinese authorities.

Join us at 8:15pm at the Hive Spring in Wong Chuk Hang on June 10 for the film’s first airing in Hong Kong, followed by a Q&A with Badiucao, award-winning Australian director Danny Ben-Moshe, and the Hong Kong Journalist Association’s Shirley Yam. Tickets are now sold out.

China's Artful Dissident badiucao
Badiucao. Photo: China’s Artful Dissident.
Q&A panelists:
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Badiucao, China’s Artful Dissident – live via Skype.

Badiucao is one of the most popular and prolific political cartoonists and artists from China, and he confronts a variety of social and political issues head-on in his work. His work has been used by HKFP, Amnesty International, Freedom House, BBC, CNN and China Digital Times and exhibited globally.

Danny Ben-Moshe, Film Director – live via Skype.

Award-winning filmmaker Danny Ben-Moshe is one of Australia’s leading documentarians. His acclaimed films have screened on networks around the world, played at multiple film festivals and gained rave reviews in the press. Danny has produced and/or directed over 10 documentaries.

Shirley Yam, Hong Kong Journalists Association:

Shirley Yam is an award-winning financial journalist, having worked on China’s financial and corporate development since the 90s. She has served the Hong Kong Journalists Association for a decade and is currently its vice-chair. Yam has won various scholarships for education in Hong Kong and abroad. She holds a Master Degree in Politics of the World Economy from the London School of Economics and Political Science.

Drinks and new, official HKFP merchandise will be available at a discount on the night.

Please check your email after purchase for entry details. Show receipt ID on the door. No outside drinks. Hosts reserve the right to refuse entry.

The film follows the exiled artist in the lead-up to the ill-fated art show, as he uses his satirical cartoons and performance art around the world to challenge Beijing’s censorship and one-party rule.

“He believes history is constantly being rewritten and tampered with, and even forgotten, when free speech and democracy are absent,” a statement from the filmmakers said. “His art is a record of his personal perspective on social issues which aims to confront the official record. He believes art and the internet has the power to deconstruct and challenge the arrogance and authority of dictatorships, building towards individual awakening and true independence.”

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Badiucao as Tank Man. Photo: China’s Artful Dissident.

The movie reveals how Badicuao was inspired by Tank Man – the lone protester who stood in front of a line of tanks after the bloody 1989 military crackdown. The massacre left hundreds – perhaps thousands – dead following weeks of pro-democracy protests around Tiananmen Square.

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The filmmakers said he went to great lengths to protect his real identity: “Like Banksy, the artist remains incognito, but unlike Banksy, his life – and that of his family – are at stake, as the Chinese authorities – desperate to prevent his political art breaching their Great Firewall – close in on his identity.”

China's Artful Dissident badiucao
Liu Xia & Liu Xiaobo artwork, which was set to be displayed at Baducao’s exhibition. Photo: China’s Artful Dissident.

Interview: Badiucao: ‘I think we are witnessing the dying of Hong Kong’

Award-winning Australian director Danny Ben-Moshe – who appears in the film – said that he said he reached out to Badiucao having seen his street art in a national newspaper.

“The level of fear about Chinese surveillance escalated as the film progressed,” he said. “It made me realise that China’s nefarious activities overseas are like a form of terrorism, where the fear of the threat can be greater than the threat itself.”

ABC Commercial holds worldwide distribution rights for China’s Artful Dissident. The movie will debut on ABC Australia at 9:30pm on June 4.

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Hong Kong Free Press is a new, non-profit, English-language news source seeking to unite critical voices on local and national affairs. Free of charge and completely independent, HKFP arrives amid rising concerns over declining press freedom in Hong Kong and during an important time in the city’s constitutional development.